it has just been announced at the award ceremony for the five Nordic Council prizes in Oslo Opera House. Ólafsdóttir has been awarded the prize for a work full of subtle humour and sparkling, vital language, which asks the big questions about life and death.
The jury said:
“I write against the darkness in the world,” says Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2018. In the novel Ör, we encounter a middle-aged man who takes his literal and metaphorical toolbox with him to a war-torn European country, intent upon putting an end to his life. In the course of his travels, he realises that we all have our own toolbox – what matters is how we choose to use it. This is a small book with a big heart. It is full of subtle humour and sparkling, vital language, which asks the big questions about life and death, about the individual versus the collective, about our privileges, rights and duties. Ultimately, it is duty that provides humanity with the tools to challenge the darkness.